A great cape, for us, can't be expressed in longitude and latitude alone. A great cape has a soul, with very soft, very violent shadows and colours. A soul as smooth as a child's, as hard as a criminal's. And that is why we go.
And Jack London perfectly captured its challenge, and the degree of sacrifice and commitment it took for a ship and crew to claw past Cape Horn, in his great short story "Make Westing":
The Mary Rogers was strained, the crew was strained, and big Dan Cullen, master, was likewise strained. Perhaps he was strained most of
all, for upon him rested the responsibility of that titanic struggle. He slept most of the time in his clothes, though he rarely slept. He
haunted the deck at night, a great, burly, robust ghost, black with the sunburn of thirty years of sea and hairy as an orang-utan. He, in turn,
was haunted by one thought of action, a sailing direction for the Horn: "Whatever you do, make westing! make westing!" It was an obsession. He
thought of nothing else, except, at times, to blaspheme God for sending such bitter weather.